Sunday, January 18, 2015

Aerial Antics: New Carowinds Views

It has been several years since we last looked at Carowinds from above, and I noticed that new aerials have become available of several recent additions.  That said, let's check out what the park has been up to.

Easily one of Carowinds' largest additions in recent years was Intimidator, a B&M mega coaster.  The ride straddles the South Eastern corner of the park, and in this photo the ride was still brand new.  The vibrant red track stands out among the rest of the park.

Going back a bit further in time we take note of Nighthawk, the Vekoma flying coaster formerly known as Borg Assimilator.  When the Paramount themes were dropped the coaster received a makeover, including the bright yellow track and dark blue supports seen in this aerial.

Here's a link to Bing's Birdseye views, which while outdated still are fun to look at.

Google has extremely recent aerials available, and while not at a 45 degree angle, there's still lots of new stuff to look at.  Here is the park's old catering area, along with an antique car style ride.

Both of which were gutted and turned into Dinosaurs Alive!  This is a very expansive path for the attraction, and at some point in the future this will provide great space for another expansion!

The center area of Carowinds has seen a lot of change in the past few seasons.  The water that Nighthawk passes over has seen two big changes, and a large plot of land leftover from the Log Flume removal was also utilized.

Here's the "after" look at the area.  In the lower left we see WindSeeker, along with a nicely redeveloped midway around it.  This past season saw more changes, with the addition of the park's Skycoaster now extending over the water as well.  Just across the way from that is the very large Harmony Hall Marketplace, a brand new dining area for the park.

Carowinds' water park, Boomerang Bay, has also expanded recently.  Above is a "before" shot of a corner of the water park, showing off a nice open area that was perfect for development.

And the park took advantage of that, and added two brand new modern water slide experiences in the area.  Dorsal Fin Drop and Surfer's Swell feature bright colors and liven up this part of Boomerang Bay.

In order to make room for the mighty Fury 325, Carowinds had to clear out some space inside the park's gates to build the station, queue, etc.  Here is a "before" look at just that area, with the park's go-karts and the now-moved Skycoaster under one turn of Hurler.

And here's the space, totally gutted, and quickly being filled with giant footers for an even more giant new roller coaster.

Here is one last set of "before" and "afters," meant to show just how massive the redevelopment project of Carowinds' parking lot and entrance really is.  Of course Fury 325 is a big part of that, but the project is really huge.

If you compare this sorta "after" shot (sorta because they're not done yet in it) you can really see how different the entrance road is.  The new toll plaza sits on a greatly expanded entrance road, and most of the older roads after it are already being reduced to dust.  And yes, if you look close at the top of the image you can see plenty of Fury 325 supports and track out in the field!

The updated Google images feature at least three additional newly painted coasters, along with other changes as well.  Click over and have fun finding them!